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Ask CalAttorney2 Your Own Question
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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My father sold property to a developer who developed a

Customer Question

my father sold property to a developer who developed a subdivision and set up an HOA. Does my father have to pay dues if he never bought property from them? Its in IL
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state the association is in?
Customer: IL
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: no we dont have the money. I am trying to research what I can first and the laywer would be our last route. They are trying to sue us.
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: we dont have a house on the property. Its a gated community that they never gave us the code too so we could access our property nor did they put in a drive way on the empty lot when they did the rest of them.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 9 months ago.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for using our forum. My name is ***** ***** I hope to assist you today.

Whether or not your father's remaining property is part of the HOA or not is a very "cut and dry" question - Common Interest Developments (such as HOAs, Condo Associations, etc.) are made up of "reciprocal easements" between each of the properties that are members of the Association. You will find these easement restrictions in the recorded title documents for the properties themselves (so there will be something in the publicly recorded records at the County Recorder's Office showing whether or not your father's property is part of the HOA (and therefore whether or not it is obligated to pay HOA assessments).

I recommend retaining a title company to run the search on the property - they will do the search of the public records for you much more thoroughly than you will trying to navigate these documents yourself (you don't want to miss or overlook something, and they don't charge very much for a simple title search).

Regarding access to the property, this gets much more complicated. If there is no access to the lot you may be able to argue for an "easement by necessity" to the property, this is a very rare type of easement granted to properties that are truly "landlocked" (have no other means of ingress or egress), but you may end up having to retain a lawyer for this type of thing - I assume the developer isn't willing to work with you on this.

Alternatively, the title search (above) may show that you actually already have an easement (your father may have negotiated for one to remain on his property), and therefore you can simply enforce that easement against the developer - demand access to your property.